The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized burnout as an official medical condition in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The decision was made during the World Health Assembly in Geneva that concluded last Tuesday.
WHO now defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
The syndrome is categorized by feelings of energy depletion, increased mental distance to one’s job and reduced professional efficacy, according to the same update.
WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic adds that this is the first time burnout has been included in the updated ICD known as ICD-11.
The new classification will take effect in January 2022, and includes other new mental conditions like compulsive sexual behavior. It also recognizes video gaming as an addiction for the first time, including it on the same list as gambling and drug use.
The organization also removed transgenderism from the mental disorder category, instead of categorizing it under “conditions related to sexual health.”
With these changes, it can be anticipated that burnout will be treated differently by doctors than typical stress at work.